The CERT concept dates back to 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire Department
recognized that in the early stages of a disaster - earthquakes
in particular - local emergency responders would be overwhelmed,
and basic training in disaster survival and rescue skills would
improve the ability of community members to survive until responders
or other assistance arrived.
Recognizing the universal value of this program, the Federal Emergency
Management Agency (FEMA) worked in conjunction with the LAFD to
make the CERT program applicable to all types of hazards and developed
a CERT training program which could be used nationwide and adapted
to meet local conditions when the need arose.
The tragic events of September 11, 2001 remind us that disaster
can strike anywhere or anytime, and that basic safety and disaster
survival skills can mean the difference between life and death.
CERT training empowers community members to prepare responsibly
and respond appropriately when emergencies occur.
Warren County implemented it’s CERT program in 2004. Since
its inception we have trained and equipped one hundred (100) members.
In 2008 Warren County merged its program with Lincoln, Pike Counties
and is now know as the Region C –North CERT.
CERTs are formed by members of a neighborhood or workplace who wants
to be better prepared for the hazards that threaten their communities.
The course benefits anyone who takes it by being better prepared
to respond to and cope with the aftermath of natural or manmade
The best source of help in an emergency or disaster is the paid
or volunteer professional. But, if they are not available due to
high demand, CERT members can help. CERTs are not intended to replace
a community’s response capability, but rather, to service
as an important supplement to it.
By sponsoring CERT , Warren County is creating a volunteer resource
that is part of the community’s operational capability following
a disaster. The Warren County CERT program will develop training
standards for CERT personnel and protocols for their activation
- CERT volunteers must keep their safety in mind as their first
- CERT volunteers must know their capabilities and the limitations
of their training and equipment and work within those limitations.
Introduction - “How CERTs Operate”
As each CERT is organized and trained and in accordance with standard
operating procedures developed by the sponsoring agency, its members
select a team leader and an alternate and identify a meeting location,
or staging area, to be used in the event of a disaster.
The staging area is where the fire department and other services
will interact with CERTs. Having a centralized contact point makes
it possible to communicate damage assessments and allocate volunteer
resources more effectively.
Damage from disasters may vary considerably from one location to
another. In an actual disaster, CERTs are deployed progressively
and as needs dictate. Members are taught to assess their own needs
and those of their immediate environment first.
CERT members who encounter no need in their immediate area then
reports to their staging area, where they take on assigned roles
based on overall area needs. Members who find themselves in a heavily
affected location send runners to staging areas to get help from
available resources. Ham and CB radio links also may be used to
increase communication capabilities and coordination.
The cost of becoming a CERT member is FREE
Contact the Warren County Emergency your local Emergency Management
Office for class schedule and enrollment information.
Warren County EMA (636) 456-3786
Congratulations on taking a proactive step to better serve yourself,
your family, and your community!